A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
july 16, 2019
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Leslie Campione, Chairman; Wendy Breeden, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Sean Parks; and Josh Blake. Others present were: Jeff Cole, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Niki Booth, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Gary J. Cooney, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller; Kristy Mullane, Chief Financial Officer; and Kathleen Bregel, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Tony McCoy from the Hope International Church of Groveland gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, stated that Tab 22 had been added since the agenda was first published.
Lake county school board presentation
Commr. Campione recognized the Lake County School Board members who were present in the meeting. She shared that this presentation originated as a result of discussions regarding the impact fee study that was being revised and updated by the school board; furthermore, she said that it would provide a better understanding of the budget challenges that the Lake County School District was facing in order for the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to be able to represent the needs of the school district to state legislators. She stated that the BCC had been partners with the school board on many endeavors with economic development being a big focus that linked the two together as both worked to provide quality of life for the county.
Mr. Scott Ward, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for Lake County Schools, thanked the BCC for the opportunity to speak. He relayed that he would be presenting information on Florida education funding and how it affected the Lake County School District and the county as a whole. He shared that he would be discussing the following points: funding structure for school boards; state spending on education; operating funds for K-12 schools; capital outlay funds for K-12 schools; the Florida Lottery; and Lake County Schools’ impact to the community. He indicated that there were differences between how the BCC was funded and how the school board was funded. He shared that 92 percent of the school board’s operating funds came from the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) or other state allocations; furthermore, while the school board was a tax authority that could levy ad valorem taxes, it was performed based on a formula so that items that have an impact on the BCC’s ad valorem taxes would not have an impact on the school board’s. He said that FEFP funds were made up of both state revenues and local ad valorem taxes. He relayed that the school board had additional limits to their ad valorem taxing authority such as being required to levy the required local effort ad valorem millage set by the Florida Legislation each year, noting that their major millage that they levied for the operation of schools was set by the state and the school board could not increase or decrease it without losing their ability to participate in state funding. He mentioned that they were also allowed to levy a discretionary operating millage of 0.748 mills, and a capital outlay millage up to 1.5 mills; furthermore, they could levy an additional ad valorem tax up to 10 mills as well as enforce a half-cent sales surtax for capital needs but both had to be done through voter referendums. He expressed that an increase in taxable value did not equate to an increase in revenue for the school board. He commented that each year the legislators determined the amount of education funding and the required local effort from each school district with the difference between the two being made up with state funds. He relayed that increases to the district’s school taxable value were offset by reductions to state revenues for the required local effort and discretionary millage; however, increases to the district school taxable value did increase the revenues for the 0.75 voter approved millage and the 1.5 capital outlay millage. He explained that while increasing property values in the county did increase the County and municipality revenues, it was not a true increase to the school district’s revenues because a majority of their revenues were in the formula and an increase in taxable values at the local level resulted in a decrease in state funding. He then relayed these other differences for the school board: the State Board of Education was the oversight and rule making authority; the Commissioner of Education operated all statewide functions necessary to support the Board of Education; the Department of Education was the administrative and supervisory agency under the State Board of Education; they were audited once every three years by the Auditor General’s Office, noting that this office was required to determine each district’s compliance with several Florida Statutes; and expenditures must serve a public education purpose. He then reported on state spending for education, and read Article IX of the Florida Constitution. He displayed two pie charts comparing state spending by category for fiscal years (FYs) 2003 and 2018. He reported that about a third of the state spending in FY 2003 was on education, including Pre-K, K-12, workforce education, colleges and universities, while in FY 2018, only about a quarter of state spending was spent on education. He pointed out that the trend for state spending was moving more towards human services rather than education. He then displayed a graph depicting the state spending on education from 2003 through 2018 and stated that funding for education remained fairly flat. He began to discuss operating funding for K-12 schools, which he noted was primarily what was within Lake County and funded through the FEFP. He shared an FEFP FY 2020 conference report and detailed the elements within it. He said that the top line was base funding which was approximately $200 million and was unrestricted. He explained that this was where they took the number of students and their weights depending on the type of program the student was in, and they then multiplied it by the base student allocation; additionally, he relayed that they used a district cost differential which meant that they would consider the cost to provide these services in this county versus other counties and then adjust the formula accordingly. He related that the next line was the best and brightest source which was about $4.2 million and had been funded by a grant in previous years but was a part of the FEFP formula currently. He remarked that the remaining line items within the FEFP formula went to either the teachers, principals, schools or were restricted for a specific program. He then displayed two pie charts comparing FEFP funding components from 2003 and 2020 within the three areas of base student allocation, regular FEFP, and categorical which he said was mainly the Florida Lottery funding. He reported that in 2003, about 75 percent of their funds was within the base student allocation which he explained was unrestricted and could be used to cover general increase in school operations, such as electricity, insurance, teacher pay raises, etc.; furthermore, he said that base student allocation reduced to 66 percent for 2020. He then showed a base student allocation graph which reflected the amount of funding per student comparing 2003 through 2020, noting that it had only increased about 1.11 percent over the last several years. He shared these 2020 FEFP highlights for Lake County: a $75 increase in the base student allocation; a $97 increase for the best and brightest category, which was formally funded outside of the FEFP; per student funding only increased $202.52; was ranked 62nd out of 67 in per student funding; and the $41 difference in per student funding from what was advertised and what was received would have been an additional $1.98 million that could have been received within the Lake County District.
Mr. Ward continued his presentation by explaining capital outlay funds as follows: they are for investments in long term assets such as land, buildings, and vehicles; can only be used for the initial purchase and major renovation of long term assets and cannot be expended on the day-to-day operations of the assets; and local capital outlay millage proceeds can be used to construct or purchase new facilities, for major repair renovation or remodel of existing facilities, and to purchase vehicles including buses, furniture fixtures and equipment. He indicated that any misuse of capital funds for operating purposes would result in a dollar for dollar reduction in the district’s FEFP. He relayed that the three major programs for state capital outlay which the state provided for funding facilities and education were the Capital Outlay and Debt Service (CO&DS), the Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO), and the Florida Lottery Program. He explained that the CO&DS was funded by motor vehicle license and registration tax, that districts could elect to participate in the state’s bonding program which would allow districts to pledge future proceeds in order to address current needs, and that the state had not done any new bonding since 2010. He noted that this funding was not sufficient enough to perform any major renovation and was actually paying all debt service from prior borrowing with whatever was left over being rolled into other capital outlay projects. He shared the following regarding the PECO: it had been the primary major state funding for education facilities since the 1990s; was funded by the gross receipts sales tax on utilities; was bonded every year with funding provided to the school districts; that the state had not allocated any funds for K-12 new construction since 2009; that the state bonded the annual proceeds up until 2012 which significantly reduced revenues; and that the state did not allocate any funding for school districts for 2020. He shared that the Florida Lottery Program were funded by the lottery proceeds which were set aside for debt service and the funding of school facilities, that the state bonded annual proceeds in 2009, and that the state had not allocated any additional funding for construction in K-12 schools since 2009, noting that lottery funding currently was being used for debt service and not new projects. He reiterated that the district was no longer receiving any major source of funding for capital outlay needs from the state. He mentioned that local capital outlay funds included the local capital outlay millage, impact fees, and sales tax. He relayed that the local capital outlay millage was 1.5 percent and was used for all capital needs including buses and equipment; furthermore, he stated that the cap was reduced from two mills to 1.5 mills in 2010 which meant that the Lake County School District had missed $110 million in capital outlay funding. He indicated that impact fees must be approved by the BCC, must be tied to new growth, and that the fee was based on the cost of the impact of a new residence. He stated that the sales tax must be used for specific remodeling projects and had to be approved in the referendum; additionally, he reported that this one penny sales tax had to be shared between the school district, the County and the municipalities. He then described the Florida Lottery Program, stating that portions of that funding went to state universities and colleges, the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, K-12 schools, debt service on bonds for capital outlay, and workforce development. He mentioned that legislators moved funding out of the K-12 operation into the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program for 2020; furthermore, he remarked that a majority of the K-12 funds were being earmarked for operating expenses relating to the compliance to the Class Size Amendment passed in 2002. He relayed these additional trends impacting education funding: additional requirements for school security; changes to common core and testing requirements; expansion of private school voucher programs; continued reduction to local ad valorem taxes; increased competition for capital funding with other educational entities; and additional constraints placed on local funding initiatives. He concluded with a look at Lake County Schools’ community impact and reported the following: that 92 percent of Lake County’s school aged children attended public schools; that 2,715 students graduated with a standard diploma from a traditional public school in 2018; that 932 students were dual enrolled at Lake-Sumter State College in 2019 with an additional 418 enrolled in the Health Science Collegiate Academy; that 76 students graduated with an Associate of Arts (AA) degree by their high school graduation in 2019; that the district had 30 Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in 80 academies with 10,989 high school students and 6,619 middle school students enrolled in a CTE program in 2019; and that 2,840 high school and 590 middle school students earned an industry certification in 2019. He also relayed that Lake County Schools employed 5,561 employees with 3,078 having a bachelor’s degree or higher, was the largest employer in the county, had a salary budget for 2019 of $195.7 million, and that all employees participated in the Florida Retirement Program. He reported that $60.5 million of their funding went to charter schools, other Lake County agencies and businesses per year. He indicated that their facilities were used as emergency shelters, and for various community groups and events, noting that local schools was also one of the determining factors when relocating to a community.
Commr. Campione opined that this presentation gave a good comprehensive look at the school district.
Commr. Breeden thanked Mr. Ward for the presentation and asked if he felt that the mid-size counties were experiencing more of a negative impact from the state formula and if there was the possibility that the funding allocation would be considered in order to make it fairer.
Mr. Ward replied that most of the formula utilized as part of the FEFP had a base amount for all school districts, noting that smaller school districts received additional funding because the base amount was higher than what Lake County received as a percentage. He explained that Lake County was compressed on their millage so the state made up additional dollars on millage to get the county to the state average. He elaborated that larger school districts with higher land values per student that were above the average actually received additional funding that Lake County did not receive. He reiterated that Lake County was more in the middle with lower land values and therefore was only brought to the average funding amount.
Commr. Breeden inquired if the school system was looking for support to have the formula reviewed at the next legislative session.
Mr. Ward responded that there were two areas to consider, noting that one was the compression and that Lake County did receive extra compression dollars the previous year although he implied that it was not sufficient enough to make up the difference. He explained that it was not a part of the formula and was appropriated each year and that they would continue to lobby for that. He remarked that the other area was the district cost differential (DCD) with which some school districts have high costs and high land values but their DCD number was low. He indicated that was also being reviewed to make it fairer.
Commr. Campione asked for the school board to provide the BCC with their analysis so that they could incorporate their requests into their legislative priorities. She recalled that the school impact study indicated that there was some reduction in the recommended rate which she felt was helpful due to the feedback from the business and construction community regarding the impact on the affordability of housing. She explained that many of the waiver programs that the Board offered were for relief from the impact fee charges. She indicated that the BCC had a request regarding the impact fee waiver program that was presented to the school board, noting that the BCC had also put a waiver program in place for transportation impact fees to assist with the development of infill lots.
Commr. Sullivan opined that this information was important for the public to hear. He reiterated that 92 percent of the school system’s funding was not even controlled by the district with much of it categorized for specific spending without a distinction between what the different counties might need. He thanked the school board for being a great partner to the BCC and encouraged them to continue their hard work. He also thanked them for the shelters and help that they provided during hurricanes.
Mr. Ward stated that they often get asked why it was so expensive to build a school and relayed that many of the requirements were to build schools suitable as an emergency shelter which can add 15 to 20 percent to the cost.
Commr. Parks added that the cost of building materials continued to rise as well. He thanked them for their presentation and for the continued dialogue he has had with various school board members. He said he understood the challenges that the school board faced and desired to continue conversations regarding how to keep the funding at its optimal level. He commented that he hoped there would be continued discussion regarding possible legislation that might pass which would allow the County to not have to utilize General Fund dollars to waive impact fees. He encouraged the school board members to reach out to the BCC as needed.
Commr. Campione opined that the statistics on the CTE programs were impressive and that she felt that the public was not always aware of these programs; additionally, she mentioned that the construction academy at Leesburg High School was going to be duplicated at Eustis High School. She shared support for these types of programs.
Commr. Breeden asked when the impact fees would be coming back before the Board.
Mr. Cole replied that there was not a specific date yet but most likely at one of the August 2019 BCC meetings.
Commr. Campione added that the fees were being reduced and that there was no longer a wait period between advertising and adoption of an ordinance; therefore, any ordinance could go into effect immediately.
presentation of proclamation 2019-86
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation 2019-86 recognizing C.E. “Happy” Norris for his 22 years of service and retirement from the Lake County Fair Association.
Commr. Breeden then read and presented Proclamation 2019-86 to Mr. C.E. “Happy” Norris. She shared that she had known Mr. Norris for many years through her association with the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center, and that she felt he was a great asset to the community.
Mr. Norris thanked the Board for the recognition and relayed that his family had been living in Lake County and involved with the fair since 1937. He said that he had a fun experience working there, that he appreciated all the support from the County and the BCC, and that he looked forward to seeing the new fairgrounds.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 9:55 a.m. for 10 minutes.
employee service and quarterly awards
Ms. Jeannine Nelson, Human Resources and Risk Management Manager, announced that they would be recognizing employees who had reached service milestones in their careers with Lake County as well as recipients of the quarterly awards as follows:
Joseph Blackwell - Fleet Management Supervisor
Office of Fleet Management
Erika Greene, Associate Director - Elevate Lake
Agency for Economic Prosperity
Ashley Henry, Probation Officer (not present)
Office of County Probation
John St Clair, Fire Lieutenant/ Paramedic (not present)
Office of Fire Rescue
Loren Blackwell, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Office of Fire Rescue
George Cochran, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (not present)
Office of Fire Rescue
Rene Vasquez, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Office of Fire Rescue
Geneva Kennard, Commissioners Aide
Board of County Commissioners Office
Troy Braley, Fire Lieutenant/ EMT (not present)
Office of Fire Rescue
Jeffrey Michels, Firefighter/ EMT (not present)
Office of Fire Rescue
Robert Staab, Fire Lieutenant/ EMT (not present)
Office of Fire Rescue
David Ziegler, Fire Lieutenant/ EMT (not present)
Office of Fire Rescue
EMPLOYEE QUARTERLY AWARDS:
EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER
Tony Ellis, Office Associate V
Public Works Department – Mosquito Management
Ms. Nelson stated that Mr. Tony Ellis was being recognized as the Employee of the Quarter and remarked that he was an Office Associate IV for the Mosquito and Aquatic Plant Division of the Public Works Department. She shared that Mr. Ellis had worked to obtain both his aquatic and public health licenses, had demonstrated creative initiative by improving the area’s outreach program, and had worked with the Lake County Health Department and Lake County Schools to inform and educate the public on mosquito control and prevention. She stated that he had also been instrumental in setting up the County’s new collector application which would improve data collection, scheduling, and customer service to residents; furthermore, she noted that the application tracked the history of mosquito breeding grounds and treatment applications which would result in overall improved operations and mosquito control across the county. She remarked that Mr. Ellis displayed a positive attitude, was always willing to learn, and was an asset to Lake County.
T.E.A.M. OF THE QUARTER
County Wide Replacement Program Team – Office of Public Safety Support
Rob Richardson, Technical Systems Coordinator
Anthony Moore, Technical Systems Analyst
Michael Goodwin, Installation & Maintenance Tech
Bradford Keough, Installation & Maintenance Tech
Susan Hopewell, Systems Support Technician (not present)
Nikki Wright, Systems Database Coordinator
Ms. Nelson remarked that the T.E.A.M. of the Quarter award went to the County Wide Replacement Program Team from the Office of Public Safety Support. She stated that the Office of Public Safety Support recently completed a substantial project in partnership with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office which consisted of replacing and reprogramming over 6,300 radios across the county, noting that this was an impressive and challenging project. She added that when replacing the radios, 90 percent of the inventory was located within first responders’ vehicles and that orchestrating the logistics to replace and reprogram these radios required an incredible amount of expertise, flexibility and patience. She reported that the project spanned over nine months and involved the coordination of 39 government and non-government agencies. She indicated that the team successfully completed this project with no interruptions in daily service with a projected cost savings to the County of over a million dollars. She mentioned that the entire team demonstrated the County’s values of customer service, leadership, motivation, creativity, dedication, teamwork and professionalism in this accomplishment. She relayed that the County appreciated the hard work and commitment of this team, and she congratulated them on a job well done.
Commr. Sullivan commended this team for the job they performed in helping to equip first responders with the highest technical equipment to better respond to the public’s needs.
Sheriff Peyton Grinnell thanked the BCC for their support of this project.
Commr. Campione thanked this team and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for what they had accomplished with this replacement of radios for the county and the cities.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Blake, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the minutes for the BCC meeting of May 7, 2019 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Tully Patrowicz, a Lake County citizen, asked the BCC to support the R-1 zoning category for the 38 acres of undeveloped property on East Crooked Lake in the City of Eustis. He felt that it was not appropriate to place high density zoning on this property since it was an environmentally sensitive area which had a connection to the Floridan Aquifer. He noted that he had made this same request to the Eustis City Commission, and he then provided approximately 600 signed petitions which he said supported this request.
Commr. Campione asked if these petitions were being gathered from Lake County residents and the people who lived in that area.
Mr. Patrowicz replied that the petitions were from residents within Lake County, the City of Eustis, and beyond, and represented many interested in housing in this area.
Commr. Campione relayed that the BCC was most interested in those individuals who would be directly impacted within Lake County. She noted that the County was in discussions regarding an Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA) proposed by the City of Eustis; furthermore, she encouraged the BCC to consider where this property mentioned by Mr. Patrowicz was in relation to the areas where the City was seeking to utilize an ISBA to potentially annex into the city.
Commr. Parks asked for clarification that the City of Eustis was expressing interest in annexing this area.
Commr. Campione responded that was correct and mentioned that the City had held a hearing where they had planned to vote on the annexation at which point the question was raised if it would then create an enclave which was not permissible under Florida law. She indicated that they decided to ask for the Attorney General’s (AG) opinion and it was sent to the State. She explained that the AG asked if Lake County wanted to give an opinion, noting that the group in opposition had obtained an attorney who provided an analysis as to why it would create an enclave. She asked the County Attorney if she had received anything from the AG.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, replied that from her knowledge, the AG had not issued an option yet.
Commr. Campione added that the County had received a letter from the City of Eustis with a proposed ISBA resolution which the BCC was set to vote on; however, she stated that the County had provided their own resolution and comments, at which point the City then asked for the item to be pulled off the BCC agenda.
Mr. Cole remarked that item should be back on the BCC agenda at their July 30, 2019 meeting.
Commr. Campione confirmed that item would be the ISBA response from the County Commission back to the City of Eustis.
CLERK OF the Circuit COURT and comptroller’s CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 6, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
Clermont Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and CRA Annual Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Clermont’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and the CRA Annual Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2018.
Cascades at Groveland Community Development District proposed FY 2020 Budget
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Cascades at Groveland Community Development District Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2019/2020 in accordance with Section 190.008(2)(b) of the Florida Statutes for purposes of disclosure and information only.
Avalon Groves Community Development District Resolution 2019-3
Request to acknowledge receipt from the Avalon Groves Community Development District, Resolution 2019-3 approving Proposed Budgets for Fiscal Year 2019/2020, setting a public hearing, and addressing transmittal, posting and publication requirements.
Deer Island Community Development District proposed FY 2020 Budget
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Deer Island Community Development District Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2020 in accordance with Section 190.008(2)(b) of the Florida Statutes for purposes of disclosure and information only.
Arlington Ridge Community Development District proposed FY 2020 Budget
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Arlington Ridge Community Development District Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2020 in accordance with Section 190.008(2)(b) of the Florida Statutes for purposes of disclosure and information only.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 4 through 15, as follows:
Request approval of the second amendment to the Lease Agreement with Zellwin Farms Company for Commercial Lease Space for the Supervisor of Elections. There is no additional fiscal impact to Lake County. Commission District 3.
MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
Management and Budget
Request approval of the Veterans Treatment Intervention Program Agreement that facilitates financial support to Lake County to aid in felony and/or misdemeanor pretrial or post-adjudicatory veterans’ treatment intervention programs. The estimated fiscal impact is $21,200.25 (revenue) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, and $63,600.75 (revenue) for FY 2020.
Request approval of the employment of Megan Mann as Lake County Extension Director, Extension Agent II. The annual fiscal impact to the County is $38,156.00 (expenditure).
Request approval to declare items as surplus and authorize their removal from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time (revenue).
PUBLIC SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Request approval of Contract 19-0715 to Palmdale Oil Company (Fort Pierce, FL) to provide oil and lubricants for County vehicles on an as-needed basis, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $45,000.00 (expenditure).
Parks and Trails
Request approval of Contract 19-0437 to Faithworks Total Ground Maintenance, LLC, (Mount Dora, FL) for Lake Idamere Park landscaping, basic maintenance and other related services, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $92,800.00 (expenditure). Commission District 3.
Request approval to seek the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' assistance through the Planning Assistance to States Program to identify and implement effective solutions for flood risk areas along the Clermont Chain of Lakes and Palatlakaha River Basin, and authorization for the Chairman to execute the attached request letter. The fiscal impact is $50,000.00 (expenditure - required 50% local match). Commission Districts 1, 2 and 3.
Request approval to amend the March 27, 2018, Interlocal Agreement with the City of Minneola for traffic sign maintenance and emergency repairs. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $23,500.00 (revenue). Commission District 2.
Request approval of the second amendment to the Impact Fee Credits Agreement with Cemex Construction Materials Florida, LLC, (CEMEX) for improvements to Schofield Road in Clermont, which would require CEMEX to complete the final plans and specifications for the Schofield Road improvements at or before 24 months from the performance or occurrence of all approval conditions. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.
Request approval of a Roadway Improvement Agreement with RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc. (Atlanta, GA) for design, engineering, permitting and construction of improvements to the intersection of U.S. Highway 27 and Washington Street, in the City of Minneola. The estimated fiscal impact is $281,000.00 (expenditure - $250,000.00 in County funding and $31,000.00 in impact fee credits). Commission District 2.
Request approval to release a performance bond of $171,541.70 associated with Right-of-Way Utilization Permits #8146 and #8274 issued to construct sidewalks and install a water main for a City of Fruitland Park public library in Fruitland Park. There is no fiscal impact associated with this action. Commission District 5.
Request approval to:
1. Release a performance bond of $1,767,016.35 posted for the completion of infrastructure improvements for the Serenoa Village 2 Phase 1B1 final plat, located near Clermont.
2. Execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Sidewalk Improvements with VK Avalon Groves, LLC. (West Palm Beach, FL).
3. Accept a performance bond of $104,024.25 for performance of sidewalk construction.
There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
resolution 2019-88 – solid waste assessment roll
Ms. Jennifer Barker, Executive Director of Administrative Services, commented that the solid waste assessment was used to fund the collection, management, and disposal of residential solid waste and recovered materials in unincorporated Lake County; additionally, assessment rates must be set annually, are included on the Truth in Millage Law (TRIM) notice, are based on the area and service level, and cannot be used to fund countywide services such as landfill operations, convenience centers, or hazardous waste disposal. She reported the following proposed FY 2020 solid waste assessment rates for each area: North (Area 1) was $196 for once a week service of household disposal, yard waste and recyclables and $242 for the twice a week household garbage disposal collection with once a week yard waste and recyclables service; Central (Area 2) was $188 for the once a week service and $227 for the twice a week service option; and South (Area 3) was $209 for the once a week service and $251 for the twice a week service option. She noted that these rates were status quo and the same as what was adopted the previous year. She concluded with the requested action for approval of the solid waste initial assessment resolution, and to establish a public hearing date of September 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. or as soon thereafter.
Commr. Campione noted that the Board had held workshops on the solid waste hauler contracts and disposal system since those would be coming up for renewal in the future; furthermore, she said that they were in the process of reviewing what the County would be doing in regards to disposal and recycling for the future. She reiterated that this proposal was what was adopted previously and reflected the current contracts. She shared that as the County started to renegotiate contracts for solid waste, she was excited about the possibility to provide more convenient pickup for bulk items as she felt this would be helpful for residents. She mentioned that while there had been some issues with the haulers, she appreciated their service. She encouraged constituents to make the County aware of any issues, such as litter coming out of the haulers’ trucks, noting that there was an application through the Keep Lake Beautiful program where people could report this.
Commr. Parks opined that the rates were competitive with surrounding counties. He complimented Ms. Mary Hamilton, Environmental Services Division Manager, and Mr. Cole for the great job they had done in being responsive to constituents, in addressing any problems, and for utilizing a consultant to assist with navigating the changes in the future.
Mr. Cole relayed that they would be presenting before the Board on September 24, 2019 for further discussions and potential decisions.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the solid waste initial assessment Resolution 2019-88 and the establishment of a public hearing date of September 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. or as soon thereafter.
resolution 2019-89 – fire assessment roll
Ms. Barker remarked that the fire assessment was used to fund fire protection services such as fire suppression, fire prevention, fire building inspections, and basic life support (BLS) services, noting that it could not fund advanced life support (ALS) services. She stated that the assessment rates were calculated based on call data and the annual distribution of incidents, the allocation of resources and budget, and the proportionate share allocated to each land use. She indicated that Tindale Oliver and Associates, Inc. was tasked with providing an annual technical study using the most recent budget information, call data, and distribution of resources by land use. She mentioned that Tindale Oliver presented the fire assessment study results to the Board at their May 21, 2019 meeting, noting that the results included an eight percent increase in the FY 2020 assessable budget as compared to the FY 2019 assessable budget. She then displayed a chart of Tindale Oliver’s calculated assessment rates to fully fund the fire protection services, which she noted reflected a $13 increase for residential land uses; furthermore, she stated that within the Institutional Land Use category, the Lake County General Fund provided the calculated fees for buildings identified as governmental and 66 percent of the funding for not-for-profit buildings. She concluded with the requested action for approval of the fire rescue initial assessment resolution, and to establish a public hearing date of September 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. or as soon thereafter.
Commr. Campione recalled that the Board had also seen a presentation on this previously, noting that each year when they consider setting this assessment, they review the calls to each land use and what it cost to provide that service. She commented that if the Board did not fund the assessment at the rate that it cost to provide the service, then there would be a shortfall and the County would be unable to provide what was needed.
Ms. Barker confirmed that was correct and implied that if there was a shortfall, then capital items would have to be removed such as lifepaks, self-contained breathing apparatuses, and a brush truck.
Commr. Parks stated that he was supportive of the assessment and that while he wished the rates did not have to increase, he understood it was needed in order to provide the services. He felt that the County had been attempting to catch up with the needs for a number of years, especially with capital expenses and the growing population. He opined that it was a business decision regarding keeping the level of service. He felt that the Office of Fire Rescue had done a good job to reduce and be as efficient as possible, adding that this assessment was not raised every year and had not been raised for a number of years. He then asked if the funds were enterprise funds.
Ms. Barker replied that they mostly were, and stated that they were funded by a municipal service taxing unit (MSTU) as well as the assessment.
Commr. Campione said that they also made significant upgrades including added coverage, lowered response times, and reviewing and relocating assets to make them more efficient. She opined that it was a better service as a result; furthermore, she expressed concerns for the safety of the first responders and the importance of providing them with what they needed to get their job done safely.
Commr. Breeden commented that while she would prefer not to have an increase, she felt it was an important part of public safety for levels of service to be maintained and improved.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the fire rescue initial assessment Resolution 2019-89 and the establishment of a public hearing date of September 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. or as soon thereafter.
Commr. Blake voted no.
maximum millage rates for trim notifications
Commr. Campione relayed that while Ms. Barker was preparing for her presentation, she would give a quick update on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement which she said was at the forefront of their discussions with the County’s legislative delegation during her recent trip to Washington, D.C. She shared that she and Mr. Cole had met with Senator Marco Rubio’s staff as well as with Senator Rick Scott, noting that Senator Scott made several phone calls to FEMA on the County’s behalf; additionally, she said they met with Congressmen Daniel Webster, Michael Waltz, and Ross Spano. She indicated that they also visited with the FEMA organization. She specified that the County had spent about $10 million during Hurricane Irma recovery and was seeking $7.8 million in reimbursement from FEMA. She shared that there were questions as to why the reimbursement was taking a long time to come to the County, and she relayed that it was quite a process with many checks and balances, noting that some information that had already been provided to FEMA was asked to be sent again. She remarked that the indications they received while at FEMA was that the reimbursement might arrive in one-third increments with the first one-third possibly arriving at the end of August 2019 with the remaining hopefully arriving shortly thereafter. She explained that even once the reimbursement was signed off, because of the amount, it would still have to go back to Congress as well as other committees that needed to sign off on it. She elaborated that once that took place, then the State of Florida had to actually issue the reimbursement, reiterating that indications were that a portion of the funding would come quickly once the Congressional approval happened.
Mr. Cole confirmed that was what he understood to be correct as well.
Commr. Campione relayed that Mr. Cole was a strong advocate on the County’ behalf, noting that even Ms. Barker assisted via telephone with information. She opined that this FEMA reimbursement was essential to the budget especially when considering the need to replenish reserves, to address the Sheriff’s budget and how that affects the public safety of residents, the Board’s desire to not raise taxes, and to assist the County in being prepared for any future possible hurricanes.
Commr. Breeden thanked Commissioner Campione and Mr. Cole for their efforts.
Ms. Barker related that the purpose of this presentation was to establish the maximum millage rates to be included on the TRIM notices which would be distributed in August 2019 by the Lake County Property Appraiser, and to approve public hearing dates and times to approve the FY 2020 budget. She specified that she would be presenting the certified property values, a General Fund summary, the FY 2020 recommended budget summary, the proposed millage rates, and the public hearing dates. She reported that on July 1, 2019, the Lake County Property Appraiser distributed the property values as provided in the chart she displayed. She stated that the countywide millages, which included the Lake County General Fund, the Lake County Ambulance MSTU and the Lake County Public Lands-Voted Debt, increased by 8.56 percent over the current year values, noting that the best estimates in June 2019 were 7.33 percent; furthermore, she said that the Lake County Stormwater, Roads and Parks MSTU increased 6.97 percent, and the Lake County Fire Rescue MSTU increased 7.2 percent. She indicated that based on a status quo millage rate of 5.118 mills, an additional $8,806,382 in ad valorem revenue would be generated in FY 2020. She shared the following additional expenses that would come from this extra revenue, noting that some were requested and some were mandated: $469,749 for community redevelopment areas since property values increased in those areas and then more funding had to be distributed to them from the tax revenue collected; $1,148,033 for County departments with a majority being for employee raises and some for wage adjustments in critical areas; $1,166,908 for General Fund reserves in order to bring them to the Board minimum of seven percent of the operating budget; a reduction of $780,381 in the purchase order (PO) carryforward which would not be added into the budget process until later in the summer with the reconciliation in September within the statement of changes; $11,092,614 for the Constitutional Offices/Judicial Support/Medical Examiner increases; additional revenue for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office of $2,121,974 which was primarily due to the renegotiation of the contract with the Lake County School Board to provide school resource officers and an additional new contract to provide dispatch services for the City of Eustis; additional miscellaneous revenue of $410,531; and a reduction of $2,198,714 from FY 2019 in the beginning fund balance, noting that this was adjusted in the mid-year adjustment process but since this was comparing to the adopted budget it was showing a reduction. She indicated that based on the additional revenue and expenses, without counting on the FEMA reimbursement funding, there was a current budget deficit of $3,956,750. She remarked that in order to address this budget deficit, the recommendation was to keep a status quo millage rate of 5.118 mills. She stated that the total FY 2020 proposed budget was $441,978,714 which was a decrease of about $12.3 million from the FY 2019 adopted budget; however, she mentioned that some large capital projects had also been completed in the current year which were not being reflected, such as the countywide radio replacement program. She relayed that the FY 2020 recommended operating budget was $349,086,479 which would fully fund all Lake County operations as well as fully fund Lake County’s Judicial Support, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector, Supervisor of Elections, and the Medical Examiner, noting that the Tax Collector’s budget was not due until August 1, 2019 so they were utilizing the FY 2019 funding levels. She shared that this recommended budget also included an additional $1 million for the Supervisor of Elections to cover the cost of the 2020 Presidential Primary and the purchase of two new vehicles. She commented that an additional $3.3 million of the FY 2019 adopted budget was included for the Sheriff, and that this amount was net of his additional revenue. She said that the remaining $125,713 would be added to the General Fund reserves which would place reserves slightly above the seven percent minimum. She then shared the proposed status quo Lake County millages as follows: General Fund at 5.118 mills; Ambulance MSTU at 0.4629 mills; Stormwater, Roads and Parks MSTU at 0.4957 mills; Fire Rescue MSTU at 0.4704 mills; and the Public Lands-Voted Debt at 0.1324 mills. She reported that the Tax Collector’s budget would be received on August 1, 2019, that the public hearing for the fire rescue and solid waste assessment would be September 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m., that the first budget public hearing would be on September 10, 2019 at 5:05 p.m., and the final budget hearing would be on September 24, 2019 at 5:05 p.m. She concluded with the requested action for approval to establish the maximum millage rates to be included on the TRIM notices as just mentioned, and for approval of the budget public hearing dates and advertisements of September 10, 2019 at 5:05 p.m. and September 24, 2019 at 5:05 p.m.
Mr. Cole commented that this budget was in the absence of the FEMA funding; however, he relayed that in a memo which he sent to the Board were recommendations of how to allocate the $7.8 million in potential FEMA reimbursement should it be received prior to the September public hearings. He shared that his recommendations were to possibly reduce the millage by a million dollars to a 5.0734 mills rate, put $2 million toward road resurfacing, provide an extra $1 million to the Sheriff, place an additional $2.8 million into reserves which would bring the reserves total to 8.92 percent of the operating budget, and potentially provide $1 million to the construction of the homeless shelter. He mentioned that it would be helpful for the Board to provide direction regarding their desires for allocation of the FEMA reimbursement in order for staff to prepare the budget accordingly.
Commr. Campione clarified that while there had been discussions regarding the homeless shelter, exactly what that partnership with The Salvation Army or other not-for-profit organizations was going to look like was uncertain; however, she felt that setting some funding aside would be a start. She felt that the Board had interest in trying to meet this need while being sensitive to what they could afford to do as well as paying close attention to what the ongoing operating costs for the facility might be.
Commr. Parks asked for clarification if the funding amount could be less than a million dollars.
Commr. Campione agreed that the exact amount was not certain yet but that this was a start to the discussions. She recalled some of her discussions with the Sheriff regarding his request for an additional funding of $6.7 million over what was funded in last year’s adopted budget. She relayed that he had renegotiated his contract with the Lake County School District and reviewed other areas where he could obtain efficiencies, noting that he had implemented his salary study from the previous year and would be at 100 percent of that salary study starting this fiscal year. She recalled that a main focus of his last year was to be able to be competitive and retain deputies. She implied that his current request included what he needed in order to be able to continue to fund that; additionally, he desired to add an extra shift of officers to keep up with the pressures from the growth of the county. She indicated that the Sheriff was able to reduce his original funding request by about $1.4 million, and that he wanted the Board to provide to him $2 million from the FEMA reimbursement in addition to the $3.3 million he was asking for in order to accomplish his goals. She added that inmate medical costs had also increased.
Commr. Blake inquired if the Sheriff had indicated what amount of his modified $5.3 million request was related to the salary study implementation.
Ms. Barker stated that she believed it was about $4 million.
Commr. Blake asked if the remaining $1.3 million included the addition of the third shift.
Commr. Campione replied that she had asked him that and he indicated that it would allow for additional personnel. She mentioned that his office also made some internal decisions and lowered operating costs to get to the modified request.
Commr. Parks remarked that the Sheriff’s number of deputies was about the same as what they were in 2008.
Commr. Breeden thanked Commissioner Campione for sharing the details of her conversations with the Sheriff. She expressed a desire to utilize $1.5 million to reduce the millage to 5.0510 mills; furthermore, she said she would like $2 million to go towards roads, $11 million for reserves, $4.3 million for the Sheriff, and to reprioritize the penny sales tax money for the funding for the homeless shelter rather than taking it out of the General Fund.
Commr. Campione remarked that by using the General Fund for the homeless shelter, it could be used for operating expenses and provided flexibility, noting that the funding could always go back into the General Fund for reserves or a millage reduction later if it was not needed.
Commr. Breeden asked if The Salvation Army had indicated that they would need operating funding within the next fiscal year.
Commr. Parks said that he was uncertain but that he did not believe they would; however, he relayed his understanding that for the following years the concept was that the operational expenses would be shared among the county. He felt that more details would be obtained prior to the September budget hearings.
Commr. Campione suggested placing the amount in reserves but designating it as available if needed.
Commr. Sullivan felt that from a budget standpoint, it was better to approve the maximum millage rates as presented in this meeting since the amount of the FEMA reimbursement and the possible need from The Salvation Army for operating expenses for the homeless shelter were uncertain; furthermore, he thought that the Board should continue to adapt the budget numbers with the hope that by the public hearings in September 2019, they would have more information to assist with making a decision based on what was needed, noting that they could always lower the millage rate at that time. He also thought that The Salvation Army might not be able to move forward until there was a commitment for operational funding, and he felt the municipalities should be involved as well.
Commr. Campione reiterated that this maximum millage rate would be the current millage rates.
Commr. Breeden asked if the group discussing the homeless shelter would be meeting between now and September.
Commr. Parks confirmed that they would be and that he would gather as much information as possible.
Commr. Blake asked what the difference was in roll back and new construction. He also inquired what would be the total revenue if the Board adopted the roll back rate. He explained that he was wondering what the number for new construction might be if the Board adopted the roll back rate; additionally, he inquired how much that might be able to assist with the needs if that was added to the FEMA reimbursement.
Mr. Barker responded that the roll back and the new construction was about a 40/60 split, with 40 percent being new construction. She stated that the total revenue would be decreasing, noting that she only had the per household number but could obtain the total amount. She said that she could calculate the new construction amount and add it to the $7.8 million in FEMA reimbursement and report back to the Board.
Commr. Blake commented that he agreed that the homeless shelter was necessary; however, he felt it was something that people should contribute to directly through The Salvation Army. He explained that the County takes money in the form of property taxes but if people do not pay those taxes then eventually a few years later their property could get sold to pay the property taxes. He expressed concerns with appropriating money that would be taken in that manner, and he believed that there should be a high level of scrutiny in that process, especially if allocating it to a homeless shelter when some of those who might need the shelter were dealing with chronic drug addiction and mental illnesses. He reminded the Board of a previous presentation by Mr. Jon Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LifeStream Behavioral Center, who shared that some individuals had to go through rehab nine times to be cured of an opioid addiction. He reiterated that he thought the homeless shelter was a great idea that The Salvation Army should do and that everyone should privately help raise money for it as he thought it was noble when someone contributed to a charity; however, he felt that it was inappropriate to take money from someone and then give it to a charity.
Commr. Campione said that the Board’s discussion with The Salvation Army was in regards to a partnership with them and was more about contracting with them to provide a service and not necessarily about taking money from individuals and giving it to a charity. She explained that the model that was presented for this shelter described that it was not a place where people would go and stay but rather a place for situations to be triaged, would involve people who were looking to make a change, and then provide assistance with placing them in the appropriate services needed. She relayed that one of the aspects of this was reentry and helping individuals with issues so that when they came out of the jail, they would not go back into the same situations they were in prior to jail time. She believed that the County would end up having expenses related to this whether a person was at the homeless shelter or in jail, noting that it was more expensive to cover jail costs. She opined that there were a lot of different parts that related to this and that homelessness was affecting local cities and businesses; furthermore, she felt it was important to address the need and attempt to prevent it from getting worse.
Commr. Blake stated he agreed with what Commissioner Campione was saying and that he would contribute to The Salvation Army, but he felt that the $1 million should go to either a tax reduction or road resurfacing.
Commr. Parks remarked that he understood Commissioner Blake’s perspective; however, from a social services aspect, it was only a small percentage out of the County’s budget, noting that the process to receive county grants was very strenuous. He indicated that while he agreed this was important from the human aspect of it, he was also interested in this from a numbers standpoint as he saw it as a way to help reduce the cost of individuals going to jail. He expressed his support of a partnership.
Ms. Barker reported that the 40 percent of the increase associated with new construction would be roughly $3 to $3.5 million of the $8.8 million. She relayed that if this was added to the anticipated $7.8 million FEMA reimbursement, it would bring the total to about $11.3 million.
Commr. Sullivan opined that $1 million for operational funding for the homeless shelter was too much to come from the County based on the total Lake County population, although he felt it could be different if it was for a capital outlay expense.
Commr. Campione remarked that it could be a combination of seed money for a capital outlay and then possibly the last three months of the fiscal year it could be operational.
Commr. Parks thought that it would be less operationally but opined it was important to have a placeholder for the funding.
Commr. Breeden made a motion for a proposed millage rate of 5.0510.
The motion died due to lack of a second.
Commr. Parks pointed out that in reviewing the previous 18 years of millage rates, this proposed rate was less than the 18 year average. He said it was the lowest millage rate of surrounding counties, noting that Sumter County was technically lower but was not a fair comparison because of community development districts (CDD) which made residents pay a higher tax amount. He opined that Lake County was very efficient, that the County Manager continually looked for efficiencies, and that the Constitutional Officers had pressure to keep up with growth and did a great job of that. He thought it was concerning that reserves were low and felt that the County might need to borrow money if another hurricane hit. He did not see a need to raise the millage and hoped that the Board would find a way to lower the millage rate by the public hearing on September 24, 2019.
Commr. Breeden relayed that sometimes in the past, the pubic-lands voted debt was reduced since it was just paying off bonds.
Ms. Barker responded that staff could consider that but it had not yet been analyzed. She noted that a small amount had to be kept in reserves for that purpose until they knew the final property values. She relayed that once it was determined that there was enough in reserves and enough to pay the debt service for next year, then there would possibly be the opportunity to lower it since it was lowered slightly last year. She added that it was a countywide millage and would positively affect every resident in the county if it was lowered.
Commr. Breeden expressed that while she would vote against the proposed millage, she felt confident that between now and September 2019, the County would be able to accomplish what needed to be done, especially the Sheriff’s request.
Commr. Parks opined that the Board was against expansive government and pointed out that employee staffing levels were still about what they were in 2002 and 2003. He suggested that if there was money that the Tax Collector might possibly be giving back, then could employee salaries be supplemented.
Mr. Cole mentioned that they did currently budget for excess fees coming back to the County so the question to consider was if the Tax Collector would exceed what was already budgeted, noting they would not know that until September 2019.
Ms. Barker commented that the Tax Collector would provide an estimate in August 2019 but they would probably not know the actual excess fees until the end of October 2019; furthermore, she said that a possible adjustment could be made at the mid-year adjustment in January 2020 to address any Board priorities.
Mr. Cole remarked that staff did include additional funding in the County Departments/Offices/Divisions line item in the budget that would include a one percent across the board salary increase for all employees and then up to three percent in performance based raises; additionally, there was funding included within that to make adjustments for some situations that needed to be addressed outside of the raises. He said that additional funding could be used although he felt these amounts were appropriate; however, if the Board established it as a priority for the future, staff could continue to make those adjustments.
Commr. Parks asked for a note to be made to discuss this in October 2019 and Mr. Cole relayed that he would do so.
Commr. Campione asked for clarification that he was referring to salaries and making changes to levels of some job descriptions.
Commr. Parks confirmed that was correct as well as supporting some of the competitive areas where the County was losing employees.
Commr. Campione provided a handout to each of the Commissioners comparing Lake County millage rates to surrounding counties. She mentioned that when comparing the General Fund millage rate, Lake County was the lowest, except for Marion County. She stated that once Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was added, it brought the millage rate to barely above Sumter County, noting that EMS was countywide. She said that the other MSTUs that were on the handout were only for unincorporated residents. She reiterated that those who lived in The Villages within Sumter County received the CDD debt service on their tax bill which had a significant effect that increased their bottom line. She felt that Lake County was competitive and certainly lower than many other surrounding counties for totals for unincorporated residents, noting that those who lived in the cities would be different and that this handout did not include the Lake County School District, the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Lake County Water Authority nor the North Lake County Hospital District millages. She explained that it only included items under the County Commission’s jurisdiction and the budgets that they supported.
Commr. Breeden asked if anyone knew how Lake County compared statewide in their total millage rate.
Commr. Parks felt that it was good but he did not have the exact numbers.
Commr. Blake mentioned that some comparisons he saw included the school millage which would make it hard to compare, although he thought Lake County was somewhere in the middle.
Commr. Campione asked for staff to compare Lake County to other County Commissions without including the school millage as well as a comparison of unincorporated versus incorporated, and Ms. Barker relayed that she could make those comparisons.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the maximum millage rates to be included on the TRIM notices as follows: General Fund at 5.118 mills; Ambulance MSTU at 0.4629 mills; Stormwater, Roads and Parks MSTU at 0.4957 mills; Fire Rescue MSTU at 0.4704 mills; and the Public Lands-Voted Debt at 0.1324 mills; additionally, they approved for the public hearing dates and advertisements to be September 10, 2019 at 5:05 p.m. and September 24, 2019 at 5:05 p.m.
Commr. Blake and Commr. Breeden voted no.
clermont ridge senior villas application
Ms. Stacey Smithwick, with the Office of Housing and Human Services, presented an overview of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee’s recommendation for Clermont Ridge, Ltd. to receive the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP) funding for the Clermont Ridge Senior Villas. She reported that the Clermont Ridge Senior Villas would make available 70 one bedroom/one bath rental units and would dedicate seven of those units to very low income households and 63 units to low income households. She mentioned that to qualify for very low income, the household’s gross annual income should not exceed $19,440 and to qualify for low income, the household’s gross annual income should not exceed $29,160, noting that these figures were for a family of one and that a family of two would be slightly higher. She then displayed an aerial picture of the location for the proposed units. She recapped the following information regarding this project: in February 2019, the developer of this project appeared before the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to request SHIP funding to offset the transportation and library impact fees for the project; the New Construction-Multifamily strategy in the 2015-2018 Local Housing Assistance Program (LHAP) allowed for a maximum award of $37,500 per project and the developer had requested a waiver to this maximum award and was seeking approximately $91,420; the strategy also stated that extremely low income households be served so the developer was requesting a waiver for that income population, noting that to qualify for extremely low income a household’s gross annual income should not exceed $14,580 for a family of one; the developer anticipated receiving the majority of its funding from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation as part of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program; the offset of the impact fees by the SHIP funds would require the developer to execute a mortgage in the amount of the SHIP funding along with restrictive covenants to ensure that the program requirements were satisfied, noting that the County’s mortgage would be subordinate to the funding from the tax credit program; and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee recommended approval of SHIP funding for the offset of the impact fees for the Clermont Ridge development. She relayed that since the developer’s meeting with the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee in February 2019, the project bids had come in higher than anticipated and some design changes were made to address this issue; however, regardless of the unforeseen increased costs, the developer still anticipated the closing to occur in December 2019. She added that the SHIP program required that funds approved and encumbered for this project must be expended by June 30, 2020 to ensure that the County remained in compliance with the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. She remarked that the Office of Housing and Human Services was requesting approval of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee’s recommendation for the Clermont Ridge Senior Villas application as follows: award SHIP funding in an amount not to exceed $91,420 which would offset the actual transportation and library impact fees assessed to the project; waive the maximum award amount established under the New Construction-Multifamily LHAP strategy; waive the requirement that extremely low income populations be served under the New Construction-Multifamily LHAP strategy; approval for encumbered SHIP funds in the amount not to exceed $91,420 to expire if not expended for this project by June 30, 2020; and to authorize the Chairman to execute any necessary documents.
Commr. Campione shared that she had served on this committee in the past and commended Ms. Smithwick and Commissioner Parks for bringing this item to the Board. She commented that she appreciated the flexibility to address affordable housing needs as they arose as she felt that was a huge need in conjunction with helping people navigate the process to become homeowners with permanent housing options. She relayed that there had been some issues with this project in regards to the road network and addressing safety issues; however, she thought that those had been addressed.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee’s recommendation for the Clermont Ridge Senior Villas application as follows: award SHIP funding in an amount not to exceed $91,420 which would offset the actual transportation and library impact fees assessed to the project; waive the maximum award amount established under the New Construction-Multifamily LHAP strategy; waive the requirement that extremely low income populations be served under the New Construction-Multifamily LHAP strategy; approval for encumbered SHIP funds in the amount not to exceed $91,420 to expire if not expended for this project by June 30, 2020; and to authorize the Chairman to execute any necessary documents.
appointment to the tourist development council
Commr. Sullivan opined that Mr. Ray Villegas would be a great addition to the Tourist Development Council due to his vast experience throughout the county as an executive with the South Lake and the City of Mount Dora Chambers of Commerce as well as his good knowledge of sports and tourism.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Ray Villegas to the Tourist Development Council to fill an unexpired four-year term ending December 1, 2020.
homeless shelter update
Mr. Cole provided an update on the recent homeless shelter discussions, noting that he, Mr. Ron Russo, Deputy County Manager, and staff from the Office of Housing and Human Services, had met with The Salvation Army to discuss their expectations regarding a partnership for a homeless shelter. He reported that July 25, 2019 would be the first meeting of the homeless coalition group which would include the stakeholders who had attended the BCC homelessness workshop. He relayed that he had also reached out to the City Managers regarding possible funding.
Commr. Campione inquired if Mr. Cole had received any specific feedback.
Mr. Cole responded that The Salvation Army was considering it to be a partnership among the Cities and the County as far as funding the construction of the shelter; additionally, The Salvation Army expressed interest in operating the shelter with the financial support of the Cities and the County. He relayed that they were looking at various parcels of land with one of them being located very near their headquarters in order to allow the use of some of the amenities within that facility.
commissioner parks – district 2
orlando cat café
Commr. Parks mentioned that he had visited the Orlando Cat Café in the Four Corners area the previous day, noting that this facility was a place where cats could be adopted while individuals enjoyed coffee. He thanked Ms. Sandy Cagan and Mr. Jeff Cagan for their efforts to raise money for pet oxygen masks and shared that they were able to donate two to Lake County’s Office of Fire Rescue. He also thanked the following Office of Fire Rescue employees who participated in a photo opportunity at the café and who he said represented the county well: Lieutenant Mark Ricci, Fire Marshall Michael Vitta, firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) Mr. Anthony Bresciani, and firefighters Daniel Wallace, Joshua Bass, and Jeffrey Shrock.
commissioner blake – district 5
chairman’s trip to washington d.c.
Commr. Blake thanked Commissioner Campione and Mr. Cole for their efforts to present the needs of the County during their recent trip to Washington, D.C.
commissioner campione – CHAIRMAN AND district 4
Commr. Campione remarked that this was simply an item to distinguish between roads that were clearly being maintained and under the control of the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) so that the underlying right-of-way would be under CFX instead of the Florida Department of Transportation.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2019-91 supporting the transfer of portions of State Road (SR) 528, SR 429 and SR 417 from the Florida Department of Transportation to the Central Florida Expressway Authority.
trip to washington d.c.
Commr. Campione shared an overview of her recent trip to Washington, D.C., noting that she and Mr. Cole met with several organizations including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regarding homelessness issues, the Department of Justice regarding school resource officers and reentry programs, the Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding road resurfacing funding, and the Department of Commerce regarding economic development. She elaborated that they met with HUD with the desire to learn how the Mid-Florida Homeless Coalition might be able to assist with homelessness issues, noting that Hernando, Citrus, Sumter and Lake Counties were within the same coalition. She added that sometimes these groups team up with larger coalitions; however, she was not sure if that would make sense for Lake County but reiterated that the goal was to utilize that vehicle as much as possible to assist with needs related to homelessness and housing. She explained that the Department of Justice processes grants for public safety needs and that she and Mr. Cole reviewed whether it would be possible in the future to assist with the school resource officers. She stated that they also discussed reentry programs, recalling that Lake County had submitted a grant request but was never awarded one to assist with reentry for individuals coming out of jail. She said that their meeting with DOT was for the purpose of finding ways to receive road resurfacing funding and that they discovered that there were not really any grants available for repaving and resurfacing; however, she relayed that they learned about some proposals and applications that could be completed in the future in which possible money could be freed up for resurfacing by receiving grant funds for other projects that County funding was going toward. She said that DOT was very understanding and that many areas were talking about crumbling infrastructure with a push in Washington, D.C. for the legislature to vote on a bill that would provide for assistance with infrastructure, noting that Congressman Webster had been helpful to them since he was the senior republican on the transportation finance committee. She mentioned that they had an enlightening session with the Department of Commerce which spawned thoughts on how economic development was happening within Lake County. She added that there were grants available which would allow someone from the Department of Commerce to study the county’s economic system and give suggestions as to where there could be possible clusters of activity around industries already within the county. She felt that there were some areas within the Department of Commerce that the County could possibly tap into which might assist with some of the county’s strategic corridors. She shared that the County might be able to receive some assistance if staff was able to put an application together and show how the county could create economic opportunities that would attract companies.
Mr. Cole added that they also had conversations with FEMA about public safety funding.
Commr. Campione relayed that they discussed the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants and firefighter equipment, noting that there were not specific commitments but that FEMA was impressed with Lake County’s grant application.
Mr. Cole remarked that the County should receive information regarding the grants by September of this year.
Commr. Breeden asked if the County’s lobbyists helped to organize all these meetings.
Commr. Campione responded that they did assist with setting up the meetings which kept her and Mr. Cole very busy, and she commended them on the job they did. She added that because the legislature was in session, there was a lot of activity around the Capitol. She expressed her appreciation for the assistance they received while in Washington.
Commr. Sullivan said that from his experience, those types of trips were very educational in learning how the system worked. He encouraged other Commissioners to take advantage of those opportunities if they were available to them. He noted that the year he was the BCC Chairman, the President had invited County Commissioners to Washington, D.C. and he relayed that he also met with County lobbyists and that it was a great learning experience.
made in america initiative
Commr. Campione mentioned that Mr. Don Buckner was personally invited to attend the Made in America event at the White House. She expressed her interest in reaching out to Mr. Buckner regarding his Made in America initiative and the possibility of tying that into what the County was doing with economic development. She relayed that he was a graduate of Tavares High School and received his training at Lake Technical College.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
GARY J COONEY, CLERK